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Posted at 4:07 PM ET, 11/18/2010

Bicycle, transit advocates fire back in support of Tregoning, Klein

By Tim Craig

Advocates for bicyclists and more mass transit options are firing back at the Committee of 100 on the Federal City over its opposition to Gabe Klein, director of the D.C. Department of Transportation, and Harriet Tregoning, who heads up the planning office.

Earlier today, the committee released a letter its chairman, George R. Clark, sent to Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray (D) requesting that he replace Klein and Tregoning when he takes office Jan. 2.

A short time later, the leaders of the Greater Greater Washington blog responded with their own letter to Gray. It demands that he retain Klein and Tregoning, citing their support for streetcars and other alleged neighborhood improvements.

"Both Harriet Tregoning and Gabe Klein have made the District of Columbia a better place for all residents, rich and poor, black and white, old and young, parents, singles, empty nesters and more," the letter states. "We hope you will keep the District moving forward by keeping Mr. Klein at DDOT and by either retaining Ms. Tregoning as head of OP or promoting her to Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development."

The letter, which had 226 online signatures as of 3:30 p.m. Thursday, was signed by the "Committee of Far More Than 100."

The dueling letters underscore the unusually high-profile campaign underway to try to influence the face of Gray's Cabinet.

The battle appears to pit some longtime, established community leaders against newer residents who are starting to organize into a more cohesive political force.

During the campaign for the Democratic nomination, Gray felt the online wrath of the new urbanist community when he briefly suggested that the city delay the proposed streetcar project on H Street in Northeast Washington. After his office was deluged with angry phone calls and e-mails - many generated from the Greater Greater Washington Web site - Gray restored the funding for the streetcars.

Many readers of Greater Greater Washington ultimately voted for Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D). But Dave Alpert, the founder of the Web site, endorsed Gray a few days before the primary.

In deciding on Klein and Tregoning's future, Gray is now being wedged between two competing interest groups, representing an early test at achieving his "one city" vision
.
The Committee of 100 represents many of the civic, good-government and neighborhood activists that Gray successfully wooed during the campaign. His efforts helped Gray project a broad, racially diverse coalition of supporters.

But Gray has also shown a continued willingness to win over skeptics who fear that he would reverse Fenty's push to build more bicycle lanes and mass-transit options.

The debate over Klein and Tregoning is also dividing members of the Ward 3 Democratic Committee. Earlier this week, the committee's executive board sent a letter to Gray asking him to replace Klein and Tregoning, suggesting that they have been dismissive of community input.

But several members of the committee were angered to learn of the letter, saying it's not reflective of the overall membership of the committee.

By Tim Craig  | November 18, 2010; 4:07 PM ET
Categories:  City Life, Mayor Fenty, Tim Craig, Vincent C. Gray, transportation  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Committee of 100 wants Klein, Tregoning ousted
Next: Sources: Fenty might propose doubling residential parking fees

Comments

First, you'll see if you read through the people who have signed in support of Klein and Tregoning, a full 30% of them are NON-District Residents. I don't care what the hipster set of MD and VA want, they have no business demanding the elected officials of DC do anything when they AREN'T residents.

This harkens back to the GGW crew organizing an email drive to Gray when he zeroed out the 50 million for street car funding, which was the smart and fiscally responsible thing to do when the city is in a half a billion dollar budget hole.

Supposedly, thousands of so called irate "voters" threatened to not vote for Gray and as suspected, a huge proportion of them weren't even District residents.

This kind of flagrant deception and lying to get your way is like a child throwing a tantrum at the checkout line to get a candy bar.

Lastly,

Considering this crew of folks apparently loved all the people Fenty appointed, I find it the height of hilarity that their leader supported his opponent, and is now having to organize a movement to SAVE those same people.

Their childlike naivety is really funny.

Posted by: Nosh1 | November 19, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@Nosh1 - You master the obvious. The letter asks people to submit where they live in order to distinguish those from DC and those from outside the District. As such, there is no "flagrant deception." Moreover, the letter asks, not demands, that the Mayor elect keep Tregoning and Klein.

Moving on, whether cutting money from the street car project was the "smart and fiscally responsible thing to do" is debatable. The number of homes sold and businesses opening near h-street based on the mere speculation of the street car project is a boon to the district revenue and creates sorely needed jobs. Yes, spending cuts are necessary, but exactly which items to cut requires both financial analysis and public input. The public made clear to the city council and mayor its desire to keep the street car project, so much so that the spending cuts will have to come from elsewhere.

The author of GGW supported Gray. Many readers did not for this specific reason. I voted for Fenty, despite Fenty. To be accurate, I "voted" for Rhee, Tregoning, Lanier, and Klein. I lost and am now seeking a conciliation prize.

Posted by: jbparker13 | November 19, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I take exception to the implication that newer residents are being pitted against older, more established ones. This is patently false. I am a big fan of most of what Greater Greater Washington stands for, and advocate actively as a result. However, I am a LIFE LONG Washingtonian. Born and raised. For better or worse, it's established residents versus established residents. The newer ones have simply joined in on the "fight".

Posted by: crzytwnman | November 19, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Here's another "established resident" in support of GGW, Klein, and Tregoning. I've been here for 36 years and change, and I'm definitely of the Social Security and Medicare age group, but I agree that we've got to move beyond the automobiles-first notions that I grew up with. By all means, keep Klein, and Tregoning too.

BTW, the GGW letter now has 897 signers (7:30 pm Monday).

Posted by: jamckay | November 22, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

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